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    Saudi security forces take part in a military parade in preparation for the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015

    Pakistan Joins Saudi-Led Anti-Terror Coalition

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    Pakistan will participate in a Sunni-only anti-terror coalition led by Saudi Arabia, according to the country’s foreign affairs office. However, neither the date that it officially joined, nor Islamabad’s role in the "Islamic military alliance," has been indicated by Riyadh.

    Saudi Arabia announced the creation of an "Islamic coalition against terrorism" on Tuesday. The coalition includes 34 nations from across the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, and will be coordinated from a command center in Riyadh.

    Pakistani Foreign Office spokesman Qazi Khalilullah commented on Thursday on the Saudi announcement saying, "yes, we're part of it."

    The Ministry of Foreign Office of the Government of Pakistan issued an announcement on Wednesday regarding the creation of the new anti-terror coalition.

    "As is well known, Pakistan has consistently supported all regional and international efforts to combat militancy, extremism and terrorism and, to this end, has extended its full support and cooperation to international community," the statement said, adding that, "It is in this context that Pakistan welcomes the formation of the 34-Nation alliance to counter terrorism and is awaiting further details to decide the extent of its participation in different activities of the alliance."

    Khalilullah denied earlier allegations that Pakistan was unaware of Saudi plans to include the country in its anti-terror alliance.

    He stressed that what Pakistan's Foreign Secretary, Aizaz Chaudhry, said about the Saudi-led coalition was that Pakistan had been "ascertaining details."

    Earlier this week, the daily newspaper Dawn quoted Chaudhry as saying he was surprised to find that Islamabad had been included in the Riyadh coalition.

    The spokesman followed up with ideas that Islamabad has been exchanging with the Arab kingdom to prevent terrorist attacks by Daesh and other militant groups.

    Iran, Iraq and Syria are not invited to join the new coalition, along with other Shiite-led states. Saudi Arabia has reportedly chosen to form a coalition of only Sunni-led states.

    The coalition's aims, according to the state media, will be "to protect the Islamic nation from the evils of all terrorist groups and organizations," on "the basis of the right of peoples to self-defense."

    Related:

    Saudi Coalition Needed for Riyadh's Survival, but Could Turn Against Iran
    Why Russia Cannot Trust Saudi Arabia's So-Called Anti-Terror Coalition
    Saudi Coalition Designed to Counter Iran, Not Terrorists
    Tags:
    shia, anti-terrorist coalition, sunni, Daesh, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan
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